|Ranged: Projectile - Missile - Ordnance - Laser - Plasma - Melta - Auto - Bolt - Flame - Gauss - Sonic||Close Combat: Chain - Power - Force - Miscellaneous|
Melta Weapons are heat-based weapons which work by sub-atomic agitation of the air. Targets on the receiving end are heated to the point of being vaporised. The effect on flesh is fearsome to say the least, while vehicles can be reduced to molten slag. Most melta weapons use highly pressurized pyrum-petrol gases with a two part injection system which forces the gases into a molecular state, which will vaporise just about anything. Unfortunately, due to the high power consumption and range dissipation, the weapon is only effective over very short distances, but anything caught in the blast is likely to be destroyed.
Although short-ranged and slow to fire, they are prized for their power against armoured vehicles. They are also considered a good alternative to plasma weapons, which are unreliable and capable of killing their user. Besides the roar of the explosive vaporising of the target's moisture, melta weapons themselves make little noise when firing. Given their fairly quiet and very effective nature, infiltrating parties make use of melta weapons to destroy enemy vehicles before they get a chance to fight on the battlefield.
Many races make use of the same basic technology. In the Imperium they are called meltas, and often referred to as 'fusion guns', 'melters', 'cookers' and 'vape guns'. Equivalent weapons used by other races have similar effects, although sometimes completely different technology and methods of operation. Both the Tau and Eldar use melta weapons, primarily for tank hunting like the Imperium.
Imperial Melta Weapons
Main article: Meltagun
The Meltagun is the most commonly seen melta weapon in use by the Imperium and is commonly found throughout all of the Imperium's fighting forces including the Imperial Guard, Space Marines, Ordo Hereticus and Adepta Sororitas.
Main article: Inferno pistol
The Inferno Pistol is a very rare and smaller melta weapon, used only by the agents of the Inquisition (Ordo Hereticus and Ordo Malleus) and a select few Space Marines (Commander Dante of the Blood Angels Chapter).
The Melta Cannon is a large vehicle-mounted melta weapon, able to destroy several targets at once. It can be found on the Devil Dog, a variant of the Hellhound. An even larger verision of the Melta Cannon is mounted on several classes of Imperial Titan.3,4
Melta Torpedoes are powerful incendiary weapons used by Imperial Navy warships.6
Eldar Melta Weapons
Tau Melta Weapons
The Fusion Cascade is a newly developed Tau weapon which fires in bursts. Due to the increase in amount, the power of each shot is less than the Imperial equivalent. It is equipped on the new Battlesuits.
Necron Melta Weapons
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Wargear
- 2: Confrontation
- 3: Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition)
- 4: White Dwarf 356 (AU/NZ), p.10
- 5: Codex: Necrons (5th Edition) pg. 39
- 6: Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronus pg.8
- 7: Deimos Pattern Predator Infernus